The principal attraction of Puri is of course the temple of Lord Jagannath. I will try to write about it in detail later. Photography is prohibited inside, so I only have photos of the main Shikhara. It is 180 feet high. See the flags on top? They are changed every evening between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. A man climbs up the chain seen on the right and changes the flags, no matter what the weather may be like.
We had planned to visit Dhauligiri, Bhubaneswar and Konark one day. However, Sun God had other plans. When we reached Dhauli, a thunderstorm struck. I took this photo from top of the hill. Soon afterwards, we were soaked to the skin and shivering in the wind. We had to cancel our trip to Bhuvaneswar and return to Puri to change. After lunch, we went to the Konark Sun Temple and spent the rest of the afternoon there.
The Sun Temple at Konark is an amazing example of ancient Indian Architecture. It is about 125 feet high with excuisite carvings all over the walls. It is built in the form of a huge chariot with twelve pairs of ten-foot wheels. These wheels are probably the best known features of the Konark temple. What is not that well known is the fact that each of these wheels is a sundial.
I was hoping to take photos of sunrise over the sea. However, The coast at sea faces southeast and the sun rises from the northeast in summer, so the sunrise is visible over the sea only in winter. For now, I had to be satisfied with photos like the one above.
But going to the beach in the early mornings wasn't in vain. I photographed the fishermen returning from their fishing trips and selling fish from their small boats on the beach. As can be seen from the photo, fish weren't the only things caught. I saw live shells, crabs, prawns, starfish and small sharks. The crows fly from boat to boat, trying to snatch a fish or two. I also requested an old fisherman to pose for a portrait and he obliged.
Before returning, it was time to buy gifts. "Cuttacki" designs are the trademark of Orissan textiles and we bought several Cuttacki patterned products. Here you can see a stack of Kurtas in a shop.
The sea at Puri is very agitated, but that also makes it more interesting. Before coming back, my sister took this photo of me standing in the sea. Just after taking this photo the water suddenly rushed in and reached upto my knees. I would like to go to Puri again sometime, because there are some things which never grow old however much you look at them, and for me, the sea is one of these things.
[Click on the photos to view full size]